Agenda Power in the Japanese House of Representatives

Japanese Journal of Political Science, Vol. 1, pp. 1-21, 2000

34 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2007

See all articles by Gary W. Cox

Gary W. Cox

Stanford University

Mikitaka Masuyama

National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

Mathew D. McCubbins

Department of Political Science and Law School, Duke University

Abstract

In this paper we provide evidence from Japan that bears on a general theory of agenda power in legislatures. We look in particular at two questions: (1) How large is the government's agenda (i.e., how many bills does it seek to push through to enactment), as a function of opposition institutional power (control of upper house and lower house committee chairs)? (2) How controversial is the government's agenda— i.e., how many bills do opposition parties oppose—again as a function of opposition institutional power? Our results, based on analyses of the period 1977-96, show that the controversialness of the government's agenda in Japan declines when the opposition controls more lower-house committee chairs. Controversialness also declines—substantially—when the opposition holds a majority in the upper house. However, the size of the government's agenda, at least by our crude measure, is unaffected by changes in these two institutional features.

Keywords: Japan, House of Representatives, agenda control, legislative agenda, legislatures

JEL Classification: D72, N40

Suggested Citation

Cox, Gary W. and Masuyama, Mikitaka and McCubbins, Mathew D., Agenda Power in the Japanese House of Representatives. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1002812

Gary W. Cox (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-723-4278 (Phone)

Mikitaka Masuyama

National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies ( email )

7-22-1 Roppongi
Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8677
Japan
81364396007 (Phone)
81364396020 (Fax)

Mathew D. McCubbins

Department of Political Science and Law School, Duke University ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

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